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Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery. We want to hear your story. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask how you can become a contributor!
Accanto Health’s Statement of Support for the Transgender Community
We at Accanto Health are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. The ACLU is currently tracking 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the U.S. These laws are aimed to limit access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, and unnecessarily single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage.
As an inclusive healthcare organization, we strongly believe in every individual’s right to access high-quality care. Emerging data show transgender individuals are at particularly increased risk for eating disordered behaviors. We believe that exclusionary legislation, barriers to care, and societal ostracization is harmful and unjust and will only cause these trends to increase. We are saddened by lawmakers’ refusal to listen to best practices set by the American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many others. We at Accanto stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and strive to create a space that is safe for all, where all are treated with dignity and respect.
Levels of Care Guidelines for Individuals with Eating Disorders
At Veritas Collaborative, we provide the highest standard of care across a continuum of levels. We recognize that each patient comes to us with a unique set of treatment needs based on their current medical status, the amount of structure necessary to decrease their eating disorder behaviors, and their motivation for recovery, among other factors. To create a treatment plan just for them, we consider these factors, as well as individual clinical judgment, to ensure each patient receives the treatment modalities that align best with the severity of their illness. We know that recommending the level of care that is right for each patient provides a solid foundation for long-lasting recovery.
A Collaborative Care Approach to Treating Eating Disorders in Adolescents
A young patient enters your office with their parent, the parent understandably worried about the child’s dwindling number of “safe” foods. Their rising anxiety levels. Their near-constant complaints of stomach pain.
Something doesn’t seem right. You suspect it may be an eating disorder—a serious illness that requires timely intervention from providers like you. Once identified, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and ARFID require a prompt course of action: comprehensive treatment from a multidisciplinary team of eating disorder specialists.
If you encounter a child or adolescent patient displaying eating disorder symptoms, consider Veritas Collaborative your trusted partner. We offer a range of treatment programs specifically tailored to the needs of young people. Our multidisciplinary care teams, including medical providers, therapists, and dietitians, offer expert and compassionate care to address all aspects of your patient’s illness.
What is CARE IOP? Veritas Collaborative’s Intensive Treatment for Binge Eating
Veritas Collaborative’s virtual CARE IOP is specifically designed for adults with binge eating disorder (BED) or OSFED marked by a pattern of binge eating. CARE stands for Cultivating Awareness and Resilience with Experience/Eating/Emotions. The virtual intensive program provides therapeutic intervention and peer support while offering an opportunity for self-accountability and recovery-focused skill development at home. CARE IOP is currently available in North Carolina with plans to expand across other states.
Episode 81: Finding Your Wise Mind with Sarah Rzemieniak
This month’s Peace Meal guest is Sarah Rzemieniak, who brings multiple perspectives to a rich discussion about eating disorders, healing, and recovery coaching. Drawing from her personal experience and professional background in dietetics and coaching, Sarah begins by sharing some of the temperamental and social factors related to the development of her eating disorder. Though she sought help soon after her anorexia was recognized at age 13, Sarah acknowledges that her recovery was not without challenges and setbacks. She shares how meditation played an essential role during a particularly difficult relapse, helping her to get out of her head and ground herself in her body.
Now an eating disorder recovery coach, Sarah uses her personal experience, education, and training to support clients in implementing the skills and tools learned in treatment into the “here and now” of their lives. Sarah ends the podcast by sharing her wishes for her young son’s relationship with himself and offering advice for people who feel like recovery is out of reach.
Staff Spotlight, Nooshin Ghazi-Moghaddam
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Nooshin Ghazi-Moghaddam and I am a Registered Dietitian at Veritas Collaborative’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Adults in Durham, North Carolina. I started working here in June 2019, so I’m coming up on almost four years!
Describe the educational path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.
I first became interested in eating disorders during college while observing peers around me struggling with disordered eating. I was always interested in health and nutrition, but never understood the myth that we must give up our favorite foods to be “healthy.” I was studying Public Health at the University of South Florida, and this budding interest in eating disorders initially led me down the path of becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD).
Is It Time to Seek Help? 5 Behaviors That Could Indicate an Eating Disorder
You’ve started dodging dinner plans because you’re worried your friends might notice that your eating habits have changed.
You’ve become hyper-fixated on your body and started working out early every morning to “make up” for the previous day’s eating.
You’ve noticed that your ever-dwindling list of “safe” foods is making it hard to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.
If you see yourself in any of the above behaviors, it may indicate that you’re struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are characterized by a disturbance in an individual’s eating and food behaviors or self-perception. These complex, biologically based illnesses are influenced by environmental, social, and psychological factors. Unfortunately, they are not uncommon, with nearly 30 million Americans experiencing an eating disorder in their lifetime. Knowing the signs of an eating disorder can help you catch it early and get you the help you need.
Spot Eating Disorders via Child and Adolescent Growth Records
Eating disorder clinicians are noticing symptoms emerging at younger ages than before. While these illnesses can present at any time in life, early-onset eating disorders are concerning for several reasons. Childhood and adolescence are critical times for growth and development, and disruption of the nutrition required for the development of vital body structures can have lasting effects (Mumford, Kohn, Briody, et al. 2019).
Eating disorders can significantly impact psychological and social development as well. It’s critical to detect these serious illnesses early to limit any of their lasting effects.
Quiz: How Do I Know If I Have an Eating Disorder?
Eating makes you anxious. So anxious, in fact, that you try to avoid “bad” and “unhealthy” foods—at least until you find yourself bingeing on them later.
Your new exercise routine has you hooked; you’ve even canceled some plans to fit it in.
You think about your body constantly, with frequent mirror checks and harsh self-scrutiny becoming a daily routine.
It’s common to question whether certain attitudes and behaviors related to food may point to an eating disorder. However, it can be hard to determine what is considered “normal” in our culture that celebrates restrictive eating and thinness.
You may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. We’re here to help. Read on to learn about key eating disorder diagnoses, the signs and symptoms to watch for, and some self-assessment questions. By gaining knowledge about eating disorders, you’ll have a better understanding of what you or a loved one may be experiencing. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone. We’re here to support you from the very start.
Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown
Stacey Brown, RN, joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on the role of nursing in eating disorder care. She begins by acknowledging the lack of eating disorder education and training in nursing programs; it wasn’t until she began interacting with patients that she fully understood the impact of these illnesses on every body system. Stacey’s experiences have set her on a mission to speak to nurses at all levels about best practices when caring for patients with eating disorders, including developing strong emotional intelligence. She highlights the importance of every care team member and multidisciplinary collaboration to meet a patient’s full range of needs. The episode concludes with Stacey’s words of wisdom for the next generation of eating disorder nurses.
The Importance of Screening for Eating Disorders
Oftentimes, primary providers are the first line of defense against eating disorders. They can be the first to notice the early signs and discover an eating disorder since they see their patients regularly. Identifying these symptoms can help interrupt these mental disorders from developing further.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of early screening and detection, the warning signs of eating disorders, and what to ask your patients when conducting screenings.
Staff Spotlight, Laura Brown
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Laura Brown, MBA, MS, RDN, LD, and I am currently the Manager of Nutrition Services at Veritas Collaborative’s Atlanta, Georgia eating disorder treatment center. I have been with Veritas for almost two years.
Describe the career path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.
My path is far from linear, but I am definitely at home with Veritas. I received my Bachelor of Science in Recording Arts: Music Business and my MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. I worked at Fortune 500 companies in marketing/management, but I longed to find a career where I really felt like I could help people. Through my own nutrition/eating disorder journey, I decided to return to school to become a Registered Dietitian and give back to the eating disorder community. I received my Master of Science in Nutrition Health Sciences from Georgia State University, which has been the best decision I have ever made. Before coming to Veritas as a Registered Dietitian, I worked for another treatment facility as a diet tech.
Don’t Delay: PHP/IOP Treatment Can Help You Recover Sooner
You don’t know what to do. You love college life, but juggling your double major, on-campus job, and social circles is a lot. The straight A’s you knew in high school are now harder to come by; self-care is even harder. The pressure is suffocating.
If your relationship with food and your body is becoming increasingly disordered, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. You may try to minimize the situation – to write off the issue as temporary or even “normal.” You tell yourself that you can take care of this. You’re the one who “has it all together,” after all, and you can handle this on your own, too. Besides, you reason, help is for those who are sick – and you don’t feel sick, even though your friends and family may be worried.
Please know that if you are suffering at all, you deserve help. Your pain and your experience matter. There is no question that it is hard to face the reality of an eating disorder, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help as soon as warning signs emerge.
5 Reasons PHP/IOP Can Help Your Patient Recover From an Eating Disorder Without Residential Care
Your patient seems to be struggling more lately. More talk about food, more self-judgment and isolation. Their eating disorder behaviors are up and their motivation for recovery is down. They could use some extra support.
Then again, this doesn’t exactly scream crisis. Surely your patient doesn’t need residential or inpatient care yet.
Where to turn?
At Veritas Collaborative, we offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs (PHP/IOP) to treat eating disorders; these are early intervention services that help patients recover sooner. These structured programs offer more support than traditional outpatient eating disorder treatment and more flexibility than around-the-clock care. Patients can admit directly to PHP/IOP, well before 24/7 care is warranted.
Rather than wait until your patient may need the highest level of care, consider how early intervention may help them now. Here are five reasons PHP/IOP may be right for your patient.
5 Podcast Episodes to Support Your 2023 Intentions
We are currently bombarded with messages suggesting that we should change our bodies in this new year. It’s a particularly noisy time for diet culture, but there are plenty of 2023 intentions that have absolutely nothing to do with a new diet fad or trendy exercise routine. These recovery-aligned goals can protect both your physical and mental well-being, as well as improve your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.
You may want to start meditating, treat yourself with more compassion, or find movement practices that bring you joy. On our podcast Peace Meal, host Dr. Jillian Lampert speaks with experts in the eating disorder field and people in recovery on a range of topics, including practical tips to support these types of recovery-related goals. Read on for five episodes that can help you achieve the intentions you may be pursuing in 2023.
Practicing Self-Care in the New Year
Happy New Year! As we settle into the month of January, reflection on the year before and dreams of the year ahead are the focus for many. Discussion of “be better” and “do more” goals, resolutions, tasks, and dreams are floating around in the minds of many.
What if we instead focused on goals that center on ways we can better engage in a self-care practice? What if we tried taking care of ourselves, exactly as we are, and made sure that we managed the things that are present in our everyday lives, today, in the moment?
In all the self-care conversations, research, and TED Talks, we find ideas for successful self-care, as well as what self-care is and is not. Surveys seem to indicate that most people agree that self-care is both important and valuable. However, at the same time, many people report that they don’t have time for it or that they struggle to put themselves before the many other tasks at hand.
Virtual Eating Disorder Treatment at Veritas Collaborative
Veritas Collaborative’s virtual intensive treatment brings our individualized, evidence-based eating disorder services directly to you. We offer the same quality care online as we do in person, ensuring you have the structure and support you need for lasting recovery.
What is Virtual Care?
In our virtual treatment programs, you will connect with your professional multidisciplinary care team and peers in a secure online environment. You will typically spend a minimum of 30 hours per week in virtual PHP and a minimum of 12 hours in virtual IOP, as in traditional in-person programming. Your program schedule will include components such as individual, group, and family therapy, therapeutic meal support, nutritional counseling, psychiatry sessions, and medical appointments, as appropriate. (A sample schedule is available here.)
Staff Spotlight, Rachel Burke
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Rachel Burke, and I am the Therapeutic Assistant (TA) Manager at our Adult Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. I originally started with our amazing Child and Adolescent Hospital in Durham as a Therapeutic Assistant in 2016. Since then, I have held a variety of roles, such as a Therapeutic Assistant Supervisor and Site Trainer for the Adult Hospital before landing in the TA Manager position. I am also a Crisis Prevention and Intervention Instructor specializing in verbal de-escalation.
Rethinking Resolutions: Setting Goals That Support Eating Disorder Recovery
It happens every January, almost without fail: the hyper-focus on losing weight and getting in shape can make the early months of the year difficult for anyone to navigate. This social pressure to engage in weight-related New Year’s resolutions can make the start of the year a particularly complicated time for those in eating disorder recovery and their loved ones. Taylor Rae Homesley, LPC, CPCS, CEDS-S, Clinical Director at our Child, Adolescent & Adult Hospital in Atlanta, encourages us to proactively rethink the way we approach long-term goal setting, reject diet culture, and reclaim the start of the year as a time for renewal and recovery.
Happier Holidays: How to Be a Recovery Ally this Season
The “most wonderful time of the year” is often anything but for those battling an eating disorder or working toward recovery. It should come as no surprise that the holiday season is frequently a time for relapse or exacerbation of eating disorder symptoms. After all, the much-beloved traditions and events this time of year are teeming with potential triggers. Increased exposure to fear foods, activities centered around eating, and extended time with family can magnify an individual’s struggles.
For a peek behind the curtain of these illnesses, consider a holiday meal at a relative’s home. Being immersed in a group setting can elicit tremendous pressure for those in recovery, particularly around the holidays when the expectation is to engage in the “normal” food and social activities of the season. Those in any stage of recovery may avoid holiday gatherings altogether out of the fear that every eye will be on them, silently (or not so silently) assessing their appearance, weight, and the contents of their plate.